7 Must-Do Activities The Colombo City Offers To Drive Your Melancholy Away
Fierce and fascinating is what defines the exquisite beauty that Colombo in Sri Lanka offers!
Colombo is a haven for tourists needing a spot away from the hustle and bustle of a city. From serene beaches to spiritual temples, you can explore the best of both worlds in Colombo. With shimmering beaches, brimming greenery, and exotic wildlife species, you will feel the tranquility surrounding you in the lap of nature during your summer visit to Colombo.
In addition, the place offers delightful soul-soothing meals to treat the taste palette of every foodie.
Here’s all you can explore to bring back vivacity and enthusiasm in your life!
1. Visit Viharamahadevi Park (previously known as Victoria park)
Relieve your stress and jet lag in the peaceful shadows of trees in the ‘garden city of the east’.
Situated next to the national museum of Colombo and across from Town Hall, the park is a perfect spot to start your city tour with. From strolling on the beautifully groomed turf beneath the palm groves to meditating around a golden Buddha statue, the options are endless.
In addition, you can even immerse yourself in the peacefulness of the Nanu Oya river bordering the park.
Note: Keep in mind that you can visit the park from 6 AM to 6 PM after paying a nominal entry fee.
2. Pray at Gangaramaya (Vihara) Temple
Constructed in the late 19th century by scholar monk Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Nayaka Thera, the Gangaramaya temple is known for its historical significance. The eclectic blend of cultures including Indian, Thai, Chinese, and Sri Lankan in its architecture serves as a notable attraction characteristic of the holy place.
Nowadays, the temple is a shrine for avid learners of Buddhism. It is also involved in welfare work and aids in spreading Dhamma in different corners of the world. If you want to understand South Asian culture and beliefs, this temple exhibits artifacts to provide comprehensive knowledge.
There is no entry fee to enjoy a spiritual time in the temple. However, if you want, you can make donations to uplift the community.
You can reach the temple by taking a cab from the Colombo airport within 40 minutes. Keep in mind to dress conservatively while visiting during the opening hours I.e. 6 AM to 8 PM.
3. Explore Red Mosque
Also known as Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque, the Red temple is a pivotal monument of interest for tourists interested in architecture, history, and culture. It is located in the middle of a busy market in the port area of old Colombo.
The mosque is known for its noteworthy mix of local Indo-Islamic aspects with Indian architecture including Neoclassical and Gothic revival styles. The chequered candy-tinted walls of the mosque are the reason behind its unique name. Furthermore, it carries the accommodating capacity of more than 10,000 worshippers at a time.
Red Mosque opens at 9 AM in the morning and closes at 5 PM. Due to the ceremonial mass worship sessions on Friday, the mosque remains closed on the day.
Moreover, only men are allowed to enter the premises. Female travelers can appreciate the beauty of the monument from the outside.
4. Walk on Galle Face Green shore
Your days can be occupied with temple visitations but you need to schedule some free time for a walk on the Galle Face Green shore. It’s a widespread beach spanning across 12 acres area between Ceylon Intercontinental Hotel and Galle Face Green Hotel on the Indian Ocean coast.
The origin story is as interesting as its name. The lush promenade was built as a gold course by Governor Sir Henry George in 1859. Later, the area was used as a means to strategically align the cannons against the war with the Portuguese. Galle Face is a term used by the Dutch to describe fortifications.
For all the romantic couples, sunsets at the beach are absolutely Instagram-worthy!
5. Indulge in Casino Excursions
Colombo is abuzz with adrenaline-boosting casinos. From offering an elegant evening to thrilling games, these gambling establishments are a must-visit if you’re in town with your friends.
You can even have a luxurious time with high-profile VIP lounges, exotic bars, and nightly live entertainment. Some of the best casinos you should include in your itinerary are Casino Marina, Bellagio Columbo, and Continental Club.
6. Plan a Highland Tour from Pinawala to Kandy
Sri Lanka is rife with natural beauty and wildlife species. One of the most adventurous parts of the Colombo trip includes a tour between Pinawala and Kandy.
The journey begins with a stopover at the Pinawala elephant orphanage. Here you can play with the animals and watch their intriguing behavior in the natural habitat. The after, move towards the Kandy region of Sri Lanks is located on a hill surrounded by lush vegetation and rare species of flora and fauna. The most attractive site in Kandy is the Tooth Relic Temple which is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1988.
The best part is -Most of the other tourist attractions like Embekka Devale, Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, etc. fall on the way to Kandy. So, you don’t have to make schedule adjustments to visit these places.
7. Taste the Colombo Street Food
No trip is complete without savoring the delights of the street food of the city.
Colombo offers one of the most exquisite experiences through its gourmet platters. The diverse range of food items you can enjoy include a blend of unique spices, creamy curries, rich flavors, and brilliant textures.
If you consider yourself a foodie, there are a few must-have savories you’ll regret if you miss, like:
- String hoppers at Galle Road
- Samosa at Pettah Train Station
- Seafood specialties from Mount Lavinia
- Kottu Roti at Hotel de New Pilawoos
In a nutshell
Colombo offers an amazing blend of cultural and gastronomical experiences to all its visitors. From clicking pictures at Galle Face Green to relishing in the serenity of the temples, a vacation in Colombo is worth every penny spent.
In addition, the city is one of the most affordable places to visit in the world. So, your fun time will not burn a hole in your pocket!